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How cars work — site helps those afraid to look under the hood gives the ABC's of auto mechanics. gives the ABC's of auto mechanics. Credit:

SITE (iOS app version available for $2.99)

DESCRIPTION The ABC’s — and more — of auto mechanics


BOTTOM LINE This site will get your motor running.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. It won’t start? Take a look under the hood. If that directive paralyzes you, but you wish it didn’t, it’s time to check out “The Ultimate Guide to How Cars Work,” a primer that will walk you through everything from how the engine works to renewing alternator brushes.

Start with Basics, where you will find 24 guides with 126 illustrations. The layout is easy to follow and the text contains key words in underlined bold face; place the cursor on them and their definitions will appear. Illustrations are detailed and labeled.

While you might not aspire to learn everything about how your car operates, there are useful things anyone who drives should know that you can glean from the site. For example, if you think your car’s battery is dead, hop over to electrical systems, which shows you how to check, test and charge the battery. If you are an ambitious DIYer, you can explore the modifications section, where you can discover how to add extra speakers to your car and how to tint windows, among other things.

Because the site is based on scans from an out-of-print British promotional book, you will run across Briticisms such as “tyre” instead of “tire.” But these small quirks won’t get in the way of understanding what is being explained. One small gripe: We wish the site had a search function.


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